Bushido: Cruel Code of the Samurai

Directors - Tadashi Imai

Cast - Kinnosuke Nakamura, Eijiro Tono

Country of Origin - Japan

Discs -1

MSRP - $19.99

Distributor - Animeigo

Reviewer - Ryan Miller

 Bushido: Cruel Code of the Samurai Review

Score: 5/5

  Bushido: Cruel Code of the Samurai was difficult to watch. Not because it's a bad movie because, Christ on fire, it was great. Bushido was a portrait of a family repeatedly getting shit on for nearly three hundred fifty years by the noble lords they swore fealty to. A perfect example of history repeating itself, Bushido takes itself very seriously in delivering the message to the viewer that we should all more closely inspect our pasts. Also, our family's past(s). All of this comes into question when a young girl attempts suicide, presumably because of actions her man had taken. These actions will remain mysterious for most of the movie.
    This man's name is Susumu. He is engaged to be married. His girl is now in the hospital. Cue the "What have I done"s. While going through his house, Susumu finds a convenient plot device in a book, a diary of sorts, detailing the past seven generations of his family. Suddenly we're transported through time three hundred fifty years where we're treated to several delightful sequences of people in power abusing that authority. Tragedy doesn't begin to describe the suffering these people go through.
     Bushido's theatrical release, as noted by the DVD case was 1963. For being almost half a decade old, this film stands out and resists the weathering most films receive through the aging process. This film feels very fresh, and not because I just watched it. Bushido is a very slick movie with more sophisticated style and suspense than you can shake a katana at. Plain and simple: this film looks and feels fantastic, despite the content cutting a hole in my stomach the size Fiji. Yeah, it's difficult watching people be abused for two hours, but the story telling with it's message is almost perfect. Story aside, the other thing this movie does well is set design. Pushing through seven different Japanese time periods, the surroundings stand out beautifully. The gorgeous designs are good, and you will love them. Period.
      Another incredible aspect of Bushido is the actor. Kinnosuke Nakamura plays every diverse generation with a perfection even the most gifted of actors couldn't achieve. He has taken every generation and made them unique characters all on the same path. His powerful performance is of the most solid I've ever seen. The other actors portraying the, so-called, noble lords are also terrifying in each their own ways. They each exude a sense of entitlement and command from the roles they were given, giving us something to fear. I mean respect. Whatever.
     Bushido is a very, very good film. I did what I could to not give much of the plot away, because this movie has to be seen. Each scene is shocking and gut-wrenching in it's own special way and I was constantly surprised at every cruelty these poor, broken people were put through. This movie is easily a 5/5. There are very few flaws in this film. Most of them are easily forgotten or forgiven. Watch this movie. Love this movie. You won't regret it.